■ The early SEC Most Valuable Player is — drum roll, please — Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
OK, so Kiffin is not a player, but he has been the conference's difference-maker. Say what you will about the former Tennessee and Southern Cal head coach, but Kiffin knows how to call plays.
In Kiffin's first four games, Alabama has rolled up 538, 620, 547 and 645 total yards. He has turned fifth-year senior quarterback Blake Sims into a record-setter.
And despite Nick Saban's complaints about up-tempo schemes, Alabama ran 82 plays against West Virginia and 87 against Florida. (Isn't Saban worried about the safety of the other teams' defenses?)
Meanwhile, Kiffin's predecessor, Doug Nussmeier, is directing a Michigan offense that was blanked by Notre Dame and scored just 10 points against Utah.
■ It does not help Will Muschamp's case at Florida that the former defensive coordinator's defense allowed a school-record 645 yards to Alabama last Saturday.
■ What will be interesting this Saturday is to see how Mark Stoops' young team, still sore from the back-pats after an overtime loss at Florida, responds to being a two-touchdown favorite over Vanderbilt.
Stoops' players have never been in that position, and neither has Stoops, as a head coach.
■ The SEC West, the entire SEC West, is 20-0 against non-conference opponents.
■ With Texas off last week, Charlie Strong has had two weeks to iron out his team's problems, starting at the coin toss.
Against UCLA on Sept. 13, UCLA won the coin toss and deferred. So Texas was given first choice and erroneously elected to kick off. (Strong was furious, by the way.) That gave UCLA the decision to start the second half, and UCLA elected to have Texas kick off again. Texas ended up losing 20-17. Think that extra possession might have made the difference?
■ Speaking of UCLA, Thursday night's game with Arizona State is a very attractive matchup.
■ As for last Thursday night, Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder complained Auburn stole some of his team's signals in Auburn's 20-14 win at Manhattan. Stop the whining. Don't all teams try to steal signs?
■ I know it's just three games and they haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, but the Bengals look awfully good.
■ There is no way a suspended Jameis Winston should have been in full uniform when Florida State came out to play Clemson last Saturday night. The school placed the blame on the equipment staff, but FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher dropped the ball. Fisher made Winston return to the locker room and take his shoulder pads off. Give him that.
Better yet, why was Winston on the sideline to start with?
■ It's odd to see a Bobby Petrino-coached team 82nd in the nation in total offense. That's where Louisville ranks after four games.
■ I still think Oklahoma is the best team in the country.
■ Kentucky is 16th nationally in third-down defense, allowing a conversion just 26 percent of the time. That is a very good stat to be ranked 16th in the nation.
■ Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck to WBZ-TV in Boston on Rajon Rondo: "He's super stubborn. I don't know how coachable he really is. I know if you ask Doc (Rivers), 'Was he the most coachable guy, or in the top half, 50 percent,' he'd say, 'No, he's in the bottom 50 percent of being coachable.'"
■ Heard Bill Parcells correct ESPN's Colin Cowherd this week when Cowherd said the real creative coaching is being done at the college level. Parcells argued that it is being done at the high school level.
In fact, when Parcells was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he went to see a high school team play because he had heard so much about the head coach. The coach: Gus Malzahn.
■ Our Steve Spurrier quote of the week, this after his team beat Vanderbilt by 14 points, "We've all seen good football teams. We ain't one."